Author Interview: Guy Adams

Today I am interviewing Guy Adams, author of the new fantasy novellas, London Orbital, The Queen of Coney Island, and A City of Fools, the first three books of The Change series.

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DJ: Hey Guy! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Guy Adams: Always happy to talk to people. I’m a writer, it doesn’t happen often. Occasionally, when I’m dragged, screaming, into the light to meet actual human beings I forget how to use my mouth, hands uselessly twitching, trying to tap out a reply on my nonexistent keyboard. This is why, if you want to meet writers at parties, you should go and find the table with the food on it, you’ll find them underneath it, building a nest out of half-chewed breadsticks and old notebooks.

So, yes, Guy Adams. Me. I’m the author of a frankly ridiculous number of books, including the Clown Service series of weird spy novels from Del Rey UK, Deadbeat from Titan Books and The Heaven’s Gate trilogy from those lovely enablers at Solaris. I also write comics, mainly 2000AD although I also co-created Goldtiger with artist Jimmy Broxton.

For the last couple of years, The Change aside, I’ve mainly been writing scripts for Big Finish, a lovely company who make excellent audio dramas here in the UK. I’ve written hours and hours of Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, Torchwood and sundry other ranges. Nothing beats putting words into the mouth of the likes of David Tennant, Alex Kingston, Tom Baker, David Warner, Sir John Hurt, Sir Derek Jacobi… I’ve started writing a list, oh God… never start writing lists, they always get out of control. Suffice it to say I’ve been working with amazing people and having an amazing time.

DJ: What are the first three books and The Change series about?

Guy: The Change is far harder to explain than it is to experience – a fact that I can only imagine has driven my poor publicist to tears.

As a series it will view a potential extinction event globally. Imagine if The Walking Dead was actually several series all set in different locations with different characters, all facing the results of something terrible.

Like that. Sort of. But weirder, with no zombies and with more fun bits. And without characters just glowering at one another simmering like a pan of rice on the stove that someone has forgotten.

The Change itself is a moment in the early hours of a winter morning when creatures appeared above the world. Strange, Lovecraftian things. Creatures so unimaginable that looking at them was enough to kill you. It took six minutes to break the world. When they left, the world’s rules had changed. Reality has taken a beating and our cities and towns can now harbour the most impossible, terrifying and beautiful things.

It’s heavily inspired by the idea of psychogeography – a word my auto-correct refuses to acknowledge, such a joy when even my software becomes a critic. I love the notion that not only can we colour our environment but that it can colour us. Do buildings and streets hold on to the things that happened there? Do cities dream of their history? Do cities go mad?

Possibly not. But they do when I’m writing them. So my characters have to face a world where nightmare logic has taken the place of rational science. A creature made from a grotesque stew of machinery and flesh stalks the motorway surrounding London; New York’s Coney Island is alive with the dreams of the amusement parks that used to stand there; Paris is patrolled by The Impressionists, creatures made of paint. These are stories full of mad ideas sprayed all over the world in which we live.

The first three books are set in London, New York and Paris, the second three continue the adventures in London and New York (both ongoing narratives) and add a look at Tokyo.

Should the series continue beyond these first six books – which is entirely down to how many people jump onboard this strange idea of mine – I’ll continue the stories of my characters in London and New York and keep adding one-off books that look at other locations.

DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them? 

Guy: Without wanting to sound awkward, I’m not a big believer in ‘cool quirks or habits’. I just write people and trust that, as we go, they’ll tell me who they are in their own good time. That said, the cast of the New York books in particular are rather strange so maybe I’m not as immune to the quirk as I like to pretend.

The London stories feature, Howard Philips, a teenager that wakes up by the roadside with no memory of who he is. All he knows is that he has to walk into London, he has no idea why, no idea what may be waiting for him, but that’s what he must do.

He meets another boy who calls himself Hubcap, having fallen in with a gang of bikers and preferring it to his real name.

After dealing with the horrors I put them through in a motorway service station – places always filled with terror and bad cafeterias – he joins Howard on his journey towards the city.

The New York books feature Grace, who is trying to find her brother. Instead she meets a man in a false beard and beautiful robes who thinks he’s God. With a capital G. Possibly, he’s mistaken.

They travel together and, like Howard and Hubcap, gather more friends along the way.

The Paris book features Loic, one of a number of refugees living in the catacombs beneath the city. He’s forced to come out to rescue a young child he’s been looking after. Responsibility isn’t something Loic ever wanted, hopefully he’ll survive the fact its been forced on him.

DJ: This may have skipped some reader’s attentions, but The Change series is actually a novella. It seems to me that novella is gaining a rise is popularity again: what is it about the novella format that you like? Do you feel there is a particular advantage to telling your story that way over the novel?

Guy: I like a book you can consume in one hit. Enough story to keep you well-fed but distilled down, fast-paced, and turned into a length that means you can see the ride through until its conclusion.

The structure of The Change cried out for it too. I really did approach it as something that was delivered more in terms of a TV show or comic series. Episodic adventures that build to form a greater whole.

My – madly – ambitious game plan is that, as long as readers are enjoying these stories I can eventually build something huge. A truly global, long-form piece of storytelling that can be dipped in and out of from various angles. Each location has a slightly different tone, the London books are fairly ‘straight’ adventure stories, the New York books are far more outlandish, the one-offs are darker and – in the case of the Tokyo book in particular – slightly experimental with how they’re told.

Essentially, I’m trying to create a huge canvas. One that will be filled with adventures, people you’ll grow to love and sights you’ll not have seen before.

DJ: What has been your favorite part about writing The Change series so far?

Guy: The simple fact that I’ve finally been able to do it. This is a series I’ve been planning for about ten years and there were many times I thought I’d never get the chance to do it.

All credit to Solaris, they’ve always supported me in my more absurd flights of fancy. I love the team there.

DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?

Guy: My mental health.

DJ: Did you have a goal when you began writing The Change series? There are still three more novellas to be released, but is there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across when readers finish it? Or is there perhaps a certain theme to the story?

Guy: The messages found in these books are the messages you always tend to find in my work. Because I’m a very simple thing and my beliefs always seep out through my fingers when I’m tapping away. Celebrate the unusual, rail against all forms of bigotry and intolerance and if you must face terrors – and you must, we all must – face them with wit and hope and a scary grin reserved especially for those who say you’re incapable. The world can be grim, it can be beautiful, it can be funny and it can be sad. I like to tell stories that stir everything into the pot.

DJ: Now that the first three books of The Change series are released, what is next for you?

Guy: My audio work is ongoing so that still fills up most of my working life. Right now for example I have eight storylines that are slowly making their way through the BBC approval process – everything we do is signed off by them before it goes to script – a couple of scripts that have been approved that I need to start writing plus a further one that I’m revising having had notes from the script editor. I’m also script editing a few stories myself and currently making changes suggested by the director before they go into studio next month. It’s all a lot of spinning plates and a head full of stories.

Outside of that I have a couple of side projects, a short story, an ongoing comic series that I need to keep ahead of the artist on and a possible book project.

What I really should be doing next is having a day off but I never seem to get round to those!

DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Guy-Adams/e/B002L9K4C2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/guy.adams.39

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GuyAdamsAuthor

Website: http://guyadamsauthor.com

DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about The Change series that we haven’t talked about yet?

Guy: I’ve probably gone on about it enough but there is one absurdly sentimental story linked to the writing of the second New York book. I’m a writer, so naturally I have cats, it’s the law. One particularly dear kitten of ours, Pam, was poisoned just as I was starting the book. The vets were quite convinced she would die, keeping her in surgery for a few days and doing their best to flush her system before it packed up completely.

To say my partner and I were upset would be an understatement. Previous books had been written with Pam curled up in a papoose made from tying my T-Shirt as she preferred to stick close, even when I was working (and lying on the keyboard is not terribly constructive).

I really didn’t want to write as I felt too miserable. But a deadline is a deadline. So I took a character in the book – a flying baby, obviously, because it’s that sort of book – and I changed her name to Pam. I then wrote a sequence where this fictional avatar of my lovely cat soared through the sky, the very epitome of health and energy.

I am a rationalist, I don’t believe what I do can necessarily affect the real world as if I were some form of Devilish Word Sorcerer but it felt like a way of refusing to give up on her.

She didn’t die. In fact she’s demanded biscuits off me because she continues to be high maintenance. Which is just as well because if she had died I would now find that part of the book impossible to read.

DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!

Guy: A pleasure!

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*** The Change series is published by Solaris and is available TODAY!!! ***

Buy the Book: 

Amazon | Barnes & NobelGoodreads | GoogleKobo

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About the Book:

Where were you when the world changed?

One minute everything was fine and the next… they arrived. Those that saw them died instantly. The unlucky ones survived. Now unimaginable things straight out of nightmares roam the streets of our towns and cities. Nothing is impossible. Nowhere is safe. And no one can escape The Change…

Howard doesn’t know where he is or how he got there. He’s not even sure his name is Howard. But he knows his in trouble.

Alone on a stretch of motorway jammed with broken down cars full of corpses and strange creatures, Howard falls in with a motorbike gang living in a nearby service station.

But even The Kingdom of the Welcome Break can’t keep him safe. Something is moving between the rows of cars, something that used to be human but now clanks with metal, hisses with hydraulics, and is always on the lookout for new parts…


About the Book:

Where were you when the world changed?

One minute everything was fine and the next… they arrived. Those that saw them died instantly. The unlucky ones survived. Now unimaginable things straight out of nightmares roam the streets of our towns and cities. Nothing is impossible. Nowhere is safe. And no one can escape The Change…

Grace just wants to find her brother, but she can’t go anywhere without the Queen of Coney Island’s permission to travel.

Now the Queen demands payment and Grace and her new friend, a man in a false beard who believes he is God, must journey into the nightmare world of Dreamland, a tourist park whose attractions are as lethal as they are bizarre.


About the Book:

Where were you when the world changed?

One minute everything was fine and the next… they arrived. Those that saw them died instantly. The unlucky ones survived. Now unimaginable things straight out of nightmares roam the streets of our towns and cities. Nothing is impossible. Nowhere is safe. And no one can escape The Change…

Loïc’s friend Adrien is gone, kidnapped by the Impressionists, bizarre men made of paint who roam the Parisian catacombs. Now, if Loïc wants to see Adrien again, he must travel to the Louvre and bring him back from the lair of the strange – and deadly – Impressionists.

But the paint-men are not the only threat lurking in Paris, and Loïc must face down the needle-fi ngered Tricoteuse, the blade-mouthed Madame Loisette, and the dark secrets that haunt the footlights of the Grand Guignol…


About the Author:

“Guy Adams is either barking mad or a genius, I haven’t decided. His truly fantastic debut is like being caught in a theme park with a killer clown – fun, adventure, the odd cream pie – and a sharp knife when you’re not looking.”- Mark Chadbourn

“Great idea in very incapable hands. He should email his ideas to Dan Simmons and let him write it.” – ‘Daniel2’ on Goodreads

Guy Adams lives in Spain, surrounded by rescue animals. Some of them are his family. He spent over ten years working as a professional actor and comedian. He has pretended to be Ernest Hemingway, Hitler, Sherlock Holmes and writhed about in his underpants simulating sex with a woman dressed as a horse. Acting is an unusual thing to do with one’s time.

Eventually he decided he’d quite like to eat regularly. Switching careers he became a full-time writer.

Nobody said he was clever.

Against all odds he managed to stay busy and since then he has written over twenty books. From bestselling humour title THE RULES OF MODERN POLICING (1973 Edition) to novels for BBC Books’ TORCHWOOD range and brand new adventures for Sherlock Holmes in THE BREATH OF GOD and THE ARMY OF DR MOREAU.

He is the author of THE WORLD HOUSE novels, the DEADBEAT series and the weird westerns THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE INFERNAL and ONCE UPON A TIME IN HELL.

He also writes comics, including THE ENGINE from Madefire, the creator-owned GOLDTIGER and the forthcoming ULYSSES SWEET: MANIAC FOR HIRE from 2000AD.

THE CLOWN SERVICE, his new series from Del Rey UK mixes espionage with horror and fantasy. Because he’s never met a genre he didn’t like. He isn’t a spy. But he is a boy, so naturally he’s always dreamed of being one.

He is singularly useless at updating his website but hopefully there’s enough waffle about all of his books available from the links on the left.

You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter, where sometimes I’m a bit more on the ball.

Picture © Debra Wilkinson


 

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